Climate change: UN calls for radical change to stop warming

  • By Matt McGrath
  • Environment Correspondent

image source, Getty Images

Tackling climate change requires rapid changes to the way our world works, travels, eats and uses energy, according to a major UN review.

It is the first “global review” to look at countries’ efforts to reduce global warming emissions since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015.

Although progress has been made, a massive increase in efforts is now needed.

The report calls for “radical decarbonisation” and a rapid phase-out of fossil fuels without carbon capture.

Burning fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal to generate electricity releases carbon dioxide, which is a major driver of climate change. Carbon capture in industrial processes and power plants stops the release of most of the CO2 produced and reuses it or stores it underground.

Renewable energy sources must also be significantly expanded, and deforestation must be halted and halted by 2030.

The review report will be discussed by political leaders and will be central to the global climate change talks in Dubai later this year.

In the past two years, the UN has decided to revise the 2015 Promises of the signatories of the Paris Agreement. At a meeting eight years ago, the countries agreed to significantly lower the level of warming after the industrial revolution. 2C and try to keep it below 1.5C.

The report examines their efforts to reduce carbon emissions, adapt to climate change and how they have mobilized finance and technology to help poorer nations tackle the problem.

This report, which considers a collective approach to solving the problem, does not name and shame the country.

The document acknowledges that significant progress has been made, but the global temperature rise predicted for this century is still well above what was promised in Paris.

Achieving these goals will now require a significant increase in ambition, requiring a broad “systems overhaul,” according to the review.

image source, Getty Images

image caption,

As temperatures rise, droughts have hit many parts of the world

This means that every aspect of our society must change to manage rising temperatures.

This includes how we generate energy, how we travel, work and cook. Experts say such changes require governments to take the initiative to ensure that their climate action is not immediately overridden by other policies and investments.

“The call for systems change can also be seen as a recognition that we should take our destiny into our own hands while we still can,” said Dr. Richard Klein of the Stockholm Environment Institute, who participated in the initial stages of the project. inventory.

“Either we’re going to change society to avoid the worst of climate change, or climate change is going to change society for us in ways that are hard to predict, but probably not very pleasant.”

The report makes a clear call for a rapid expansion of renewable energy sources, including wind and solar, but also says fossil fuels that don’t capture the carbon they produce have no future. The review says these are “indispensable elements” for a just transition to net zero by the middle of this century.

Electric vehicles “offer the greatest mitigation potential” in the transport sector, the report says, which also highlights the fact that switching to a climate-friendly, healthy diet, reducing food waste and promoting sustainable agriculture can go a long way in reducing emissions.

The review also examines climate adaptation efforts and financing, a constant source of anger among developing countries. It calls for a rapid increase in funding from a variety of sources.

image source, Getty Images

image caption,

Bridges were damaged in Spain due to rains

The idea of ​​the assessment is to ensure that other plans to reduce carbon dioxide, which the government has set for 2025 will be registered by the UN, would be more ambitious than the current ones.

But the report will also form the basis of discussions at the COP28 global climate talks in Dubai later this year.

Efforts at COP27 to agree a phase-out of all undiminished fossil fuels have failed due to opposition from several major oil-producing countries.

UN officials believe the review report will increase pressure for a major statement at COP28.

“I urge governments to study the report’s findings carefully and ultimately understand what it means for them and what ambitious steps they need to take next,” said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell.

Observers agree that the document is a wake-up call.

“We already know the world is falling short of its climate goals, but leaders now have a concrete plan, backed by a mountain of evidence, to get the job done,” said Ani Dasgupta of the World Resources Institute.

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